So…..what have we been up to? The days are whipping by and by now I am almost at the point where I feel like it is hardly worth while to catch everyone up on the news. We will soon be home. We have less than a week left in Sayulita. James and Augusta and Callum leave tomorrow and really I would be ready to hop on a plane and come home too. It seems like it is always that way at the end of a trip. I have to breathe deeply to enjoy the last dregs of the journey.
Food (the procurement and consumption) has become a big focus to our days. We have our favourite spots. Don Juan’s at the end of our street is our go to place. It is really nice and the menu is extensive. We’ve sampled everything from the tortilla soup to the shrimp and beef hamburgers, to the seafood pasta as well as traditional Mexican cuisine. On my last visit I had the fruit of the sea pasta dish which included shrimp, Mahi Mahi, mussels, scallops, and calamari.
Another favourite eatery is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It is a little food stand with only a few stools at a narrow counter. Tacos Tono (short for Antonio) opens most nights some time between 7 and 8 pm. Tono and his wife run the stand and they are always delightful to observe. They are a classy pair and good business partners. A large wedding photo of them hangs on the wall in the small area. She is often singing and both of them chat and joke with the customers. This is a super feel good place. The vibes AND the food are top notch. The best taco is the Taco Suedero, a beef brisket taco. The toppings counter is extensive…..delicious guacamole, fried onions, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, radishes, beans, and LOADS of salsas. My mouth is watering now as I am writing about it.
I could go on and on about the places we have discovered but I will just mention the delicious churros from the street stands and the dozens of flavours of paletas that are made locally that can be found at Wa Kika.
A highlight from our stay here in Sayulita has been James and Augusta’s son Callum. He is a sunny cheerful chap and is easy to be around. He has lots of giggles for his Opa and Nomi and we have enjoyed babysitting him. Today Augusta and James are at a fancy rooftop bar and pool. (Augusta won tickets to this at a fundraiser event she went to with her cousins.) When it is time for nap we lie him down with Boris, the stuffed deer, and his soother and he chatters himself off to sleep most of the time. When he doesn’t, all you have to do is pat his bum for about two seconds and he is out. On Saturday we had him for the whole day when all the cousins (Hilary Klassen included) and their children went on a boat for the day. Supposedly it was fantastic. They saw whales breaching, were followed by between 150 to 200 spinner dolphins, went to an island and climbed through caves, etc. etc. Maybe our day doesn’t sound as fantastic staying with Callum, but it was close. It may be a bit of a grandparent thing but seeing one’s kids happy and enjoying each other and taking care of their offspring is a huge pleasure.
One day we did an adventure to Buscerias to see friends of Augusta and James’s (Murray and Jane Kessleman). These people are parents of their good friends Steve and Elise and have been like second parents to James. So, James feels totally at home with them. (“Is there any food,?” James says when we arrive. “I’m starving.”) Jane and Murray were very gracious hosts and fed us a lovely brunch. We then walked the beach and saw a sidewalk chalk painting contest. After that we left to have our own adventure. Yikes it was so hot that we only managed a bit of walking and then we found a restaurant for a nice cold drink before we headed back to Sayulita on the bus.
This past week we had the annual Sayulita Days. The first indication that it was going to be a loud party time was the load of beer in the back of our neighbour’s truck. Even though we live on the edge of town the noise was deafening at times. (Even the roosters upped their game in order to compete,) This week long festival involves a huge midway as well as a parade, a crowning of Miss Sayuliya, and a rodeo and loads of partying. We tried to steer clear of it for the most part but on Friday when James, Augusta, Callum, Hilary and I went on the beach jungle hike to San Pancho, Rudy stayed back and saw some of the festivities. He watched the parade that had school children with traditional costumes and horses. (He said it was kind of like the Pioneer Days Parade in Steinbach minus the tractors and combines.)
On the weekend was a music festival in San Pancho (a town just up the road a number of miles). Bridget and Wes and a pile of their friends volunteer at it. It runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. I even volunteered at the event. There was a variety of music from jazz to electronic, Latin, and also folk.
We took the local La Compostela bus to the event and even had some excitement on the way on Sunday night. A 30ish year old man tried to get onto the bus at the station without a ticket. He claimed the ticket was in his pocket but when pressed could not produce it. The bus driver told him to go out to the street and he would pick him up there.( I think it is cheaper to catch it on the street and the bus was ready to leave.) Anyway, we were seated right behind the driver and got a front row seat for the action. When the bus stopped to pick him up he didn’t pay right away so the bus driver said he would pull over until the passenger could get out his money. And so we waited. There was more patting of pockets and looking in his bag for the “lost” ticket. But to no avail. An argument ensued. My Spanish is limited but I got the feeling that this young man was familiar to the bus operators and this bus driver was not going to let him get away with his lame story of losing his ticket. After much back and forth at a high volume, the young man hauled out money to pay. By this time both the bus driver and the young man were feeling hot under the collar. In a fit of self righteousness the young man refused to take his change and stomped towards the back of the bus with a few choice words thrown over his shoulder. The bus driver threw the change back after him. This was too much for our pony-tailed passenger. He marched back to the front, leaned menacingly above the driver, raised his fist and tried to punch him. There was a scuffle. The bus driver got up and ordered him off the bus. Another passenger (an expat going to the festival and possibly his friend) tried to calm Mr. Pony-Tail. More shouting occurred and finally the young pony-tailed festival goer exited the bus. Yikes, what excitement. Rudy saw him later at the festival. I would have loved to see how he got there.
Besides these activities we have enjoyed some beach time. I absolutely love swimming in the waves. Rudy, not so much. But he sits on a beach lounger and plays with Callum when James and Augusta come down. True to Rudy form he is certain to obtain a good deal for the chair rental. He pays by the hour instead of the day because that’s just the kind of guy he is. (Why would he pay for the whole day if he knows he has no intention of being at the beach all day? After all he hates the beach). He settles on a price of 100 pesos for one hour and gives the chair boy a 200 peso bill and asks for change. When the chair boy returns a couple of hours later he says that our time is up as we have been there for 2 hours. Rudy argues his point that he made a one hour deal and the boy did not come back with his change. By this time Augusta, James, and Callum have come down to the beach and I would just like to spend another 100 pesos for the total day deal (300 pesos is the day price for the chairs and umbrella). Rudy does not like this. He wants his 100 pesos in change. His dealings are based on principle (his words) and he does not abide any slipperiness on the part of the chair rental people. An argument ensues. And soon the chair rental manager shows up. This causes some embarrassment for me. I am not known for my haggling abilities and heaven forbid that I might have to confront someone and, if it comes down to it, I just want to stay and swim now that I have some willing swimmers. And really, in the big picture, a whole day’s charge is not that much more. In the end Rudy wins the fight but loses the war. I slink off down the beach in the opposite direction, somewhat humiliated.. Rudy walks away with a sour expression on his face. Augusta and James are mystified by the haggling over 100 pesos. Only Callum is oblivious to what has all gone down. I would like to come any to Playa Los Muertos again some day. It is a nice beach. But probably I will have to go to the less desirable boat beach. I really cannot show my face here again.